Monday, March 15, 2021

UFT Executive Board , March 15 2021, HS Openings and More...

Janella Hinds--discusses resolution against anti-Asian actions. UFT stands against bias, discrimination and hatefulness and this is a reaffirmation of where we stand. 

Seung Lee--This has been weighing on me for a while. Important board addresses this. Anti-Asian hate crimes up over150%. Important step we start this conversation.

Cassie Prugh--Thanks people for Lobby Day. Was good timing because budgets being put together now. Did Manhattan Borough President Town Hall, and tomorrow is Mayoral Town Hall. Screening Comptroller candidates. Will be town hall with then next Tuesday. Visit website if you wish to attend. 

Karen Alford--Early childhood conference was very hands on and interactive. Facilitators and presenters were great. Thankful that it went well. 

Tom Murphy--General membership meeting March 23rd for retirees. Will discuss city campaigns, rescue act, local implications. Have bipartisan election committee.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew-- One year ago today that schools closed. Friday afternoon mayor said he wasn't closing, went through a weekend. Sunday was an ugly and dramatic day, and at 5 PM he announced he was closing buildings. We have been compiling a list of members who passed, and we have two new names we will have a moment of silence for.

One year later, things are looking up, but it's been an awful year. We will be digging out for a long time. Hopefully these will be the two last names I need to say. 

Moment of silence.

Moving forward, HSs are opening. Not required to come in both Thursday and Friday. Will be one or the others. Seeking clear guidance on PSAL. City was not looking at it. UFT reached out as people reached out to us. DOE accused us of blocking activities, which is a blatant lie. We are the only city without sport activity right now. Schools don't get to make their own decisions on this,

When we have HS set to go, if we see something not right, we need to know about it in order to fix it. We ask when you go in you check everything. 

Starting to see lists of members coming for vaccines all matched, over 36K. No one knows how many have been vaccinated because state and city have not kept records. Many sites did not check whether people were educators. We won't mandate reporting of vaccinations. 

We will continue to push for safety, and we are using medical experts. NY has done great job of completing vaccinations and safety guidelines will be adjusted. People are apprehensive. We recommend people be vaccinated but have supported those who don't want to.

Contact tracing working well. City has hired enough teams to cover high schools. I will be meeting with chancellor and CSA to plan for summer and September, so as to avoid rushed programming. 

APPR system is up and working. If there are issues, if something is doing something stupid, let us know. APPR complaint process is up.

Budget--You've seen rollout of Bident's package. Thanks everyone for lobbying in Albany. Governor and each house will put in desired budget. Senate and House came out today. 9 billion additional dollars coming to state for K-12. All goes directly to schools except 898 million. They cannot supplant the money. We recommend 898 million be done with NYSED grant process. If they accept this money. state must increase education funding. There will be increase in foundation aid. 

Much drama in Albany. They pushed back against early retirement incentive. We told them they have not been used for layoffs, but rather for savings of municipalities. It is now in both House proposals. It's not a done deal, though.

We have made an impact. We have a massive challenge ahead of us, but I'm very happy to report on where budget is at this moment. Not done yet, but in good place. We are doing alright at this moment. 

We have our fourth mayoral forum tomorrow. From there we will decide who needs to be invited to final forum. 

Q--Right now we have two hours for vaccine. State law now says four hours. Does that apply to us?


Q--School buildings closed, but schools never closed. In terms of HS, what about empoowering principals and CLs to make decisions about transitioning to all remote, or allowing struggling students to opt back in?

A--We can discuss that with city. Some parents want other opportunities to opt in. As long as we can keep up safety, we can discuss it with new chancellor. If it makes sense, and doesn't cause a mess, we can deal with it. DOE has responsibility to preclude mess, which they didn't with PSAL. 

Q--Members want to know about spring break. Will travel guidelines be updated?

A--CDC made recommendations. We have to wait for state to adopt them.

Q--Tomorrow is UFT birthday. Nov. 7, first strike, December collective bargaining agreement.

Mulgrew--Happy St. Patricks Day and UFT birthday. 6:29

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